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Unhygienic Barber
Oct 31, 2002

Dear Dr:

I am actually more annoyed than anxious over this incident the yesterday.

I went to a local barbershop for my monthly haircut. The barber used a reused blade to shave my at my hairline and nicked me in three different places. There was some bleeding involved. My main concern is he did not bother to disinfect the blade before nor after shaving my hair.

Would you recommend an HIV test? Have you ever heard people getting infected from such an incident? I know that medical needlestick accidents and needle-sharing are documented ways that one can get HIV.

Thank you

Response from Mr. Kull

There's no evidence that people get infected through barbers, beauty parlors, manicurists, etc. HIV doesn't survive long enough in the environment to pose a risk for infection, and these facilities are required, by law, to sterilize their equipment. Next time you visit your barber, talk with him about this. If it's necessary, the department of health can be contacted.

RMK



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